It’s Looking Like We’ll Never See Another Month Below 400 ppm CO2 Again

The truth is, when I was born, atmospheric CO2 levels were around 300 ppm. Today — maybe even this week — will be the last time anyone alive experiences a level below 400 ppm, and no one born in the coming century or even longer will ever see less than 400 ppm again. That is a deep, deep observation, with ramifications for our children and for every future generation. — Peter Gleick during November of 2015

*****

nasa-model-co2-earths-atmosphere

(NASA model visualization of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. Image source: NASA.)

I just want to take a moment to tell you something that’s pretty important. You are now an alien. You’ve been made an alien by fossil fuel burning. And you’re now living in, breathing, a heat-trapping atmosphere that’s entirely alien to your species. Sometimes races of creatures suffering such habitat changes are capable of surviving the environmental shifts that inevitably occur as a result. Sometimes they are not. But you’ve been placed in this situation now and it’s getting steadily worse.

Big August CO2 Jump Locking 400 ppm In

The August preliminary data are in. And it’s pretty grim. For with a big year-on-year CO2 jump in August, it looks like September of 2016 will be unable to achieve monthly CO2 averages below 400 parts per million. What that means is that the last month below the 400 level was probably October of 2015. So, for almost a year now, we’ve been living in the climate age of 400+, likely never to return to monthly atmospheric CO2 levels in the 300s again during the lifetimes of any of us humans now inhabiting this Earth.

According to NOAA, August CO2 measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory averaged 402.25 parts per million, which is a big 3.32 parts per million jump over 2015 August readings. Adding this number to previous months, we find that 2016, so far, has seen an average rate of rise of 3.495 parts per million during its first 8 months — significantly ahead of previous annual record rates of rise during 2015 and 1998 (3.05 and 2.93 ppm respectively).

co2-the-keeling-curve

(Two year Keeling Curve trend seems to indicate that it’s unlikely monthly values will fall below 400 parts per million during 2016 and, for all practical purposes, ever again unless some kind of unprecedented change is made to global carbon emissions policies. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

Such a big August jump makes it highly unlikely that September will average below 400 parts per million due to the fact that monthly drops leading into September typically average around 1.8 ppm CO2. If this trend holds true for 2016, then September will average around 400.5 ppm CO2. And since September typically sees the lowest atmospheric CO2 levels during any given year, the current month is basically the world’s last chance to see a 30 day period that averages below 400 ppm.

Conditions Not Seen in Millions of Years

Atmospheric CO2 levels are now so high that you have to go back about 3 million years into the Pliocene to find similar ranges. During that time, the world was between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius warmer than 1880s temperatures. Oceans were 25 to 75 feet higher and the world was a dramatically different place.

400-ppm-co2-you-are-here

(The age of 400 parts per million CO2 is here. It’s something not seen in about 3 million years. In other words, you’re breathing air right now composed of properties that no homo sapiens sapiens has ever breathed before. Image source: Climate Central.)

But adding in all greenhouse gasses like Nitrogen compounds and Methane resulting from fossil fuel burning (and other human activities) and you end up with a CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere close to 490 parts per million. Such a level of forcing correlates more closely to an even more ancient climate period called the Middle Miocene of about 15 million years ago when global temperatures were between 3 and 4 C warmer than they are today.

As such, crossing the 400 ppm CO2 threshold is not merely symbolic. It is a sign of the increasing likelihood of climate harms to come. And it appears now that we crossed that pass back during October of 2015 — unaware that we’d already entered a tough new climate age.

Links:

NOAA CO2 Trends

The Keeling Curve

Pliocene Climate

Miocene Climate

What Passing Key CO2 Mark Means to Climate Scientists

A Year in the Life of CO2

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127 Comments

  1. I’m baffled by what the global C02 mapping shows right now:

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=co2sc/patterson=0.00,0.00,200/loc=17.762,-15.929

    It looks like China and India have shut down all industry, while countries in the southern hemisphere are busy busy. Overall, other than the European and American urban carbon bombs, it seems like an inversion of your top graphic.

    Reply
    • It’s seasonal, windjammer. During Summer, Northern Hemisphere forests suck down a lot of carbon. That’s why you get the September dip. But it’s not enough to stop the overall rising trend.

      Reply
    • windbourne

       /  September 8, 2016

      uh, you need to read it again. The HIGH emissions are coming from Africa (start of Agriculture), but if you look at China, esp in Nov, you will see that continue emitting MASSIVE amounts of CO2.
      Look at the data from OCO-2

      Reply
    • The areas with more emissions in South America seem very correlated with the areas where drought is causing dieback of trees and turning rivers that should be perennial into cracked mud (south Amazon, Pantanal, Paraguai, etc). These are not industrial areas (well, there are some industry in Paraguay, but if industry was the culprit of those emissions, they should be located in Brasil´s coast and Argentina, mostly, not in the center of the continent). Like Robert has mentioned in a previous post, that´s possibly a positive feedback of climate change, the Amazon and other biomas losing their capacity to absorve CO2 (and maybe some methane emissions from dried rivers, things are bad and rotting out there).

      In an example of the drought, somewhat good news… this could have been a mass death of river dolphins, but the animals were rescued in time. Article in Portuguese: https://www.ecodebate.com.br/2016/09/08/doze-botos-de-nova-especie-sao-resgatados-pelo-inpa-na-regiao-da-bacia-do-araguaia/

      Reply
    • Hi windjammer-

      Yes, the variation is seasonal.

      CO2 concentration also appears to vary depending on the time of day in China. There are minimums in CO2 concentration that occur just about every day this time of year, especially in China, but also in other locations around the world. The effect might be greater in China, because of their “Grain for Green” reforestation project that succeeded in reforesting about 0.8 percent of the land ares of China with species chosen for rapid growth.

      So depending on the time of day, it might look different, on Earth.nullschool. Try using the 3 hours back arrow, and see if that makes a difference.

      When I was looking at the CO2 maps a week or so ago, it looked like the rural areas were absorbing a lot of CO2 in the early afternoon. It looked to me like there is a bug in the CO2 time stamp – most of the other maps agree pretty closely with each other in time, but the CO2 time stamp is maybe 12 or so hours different from the other maps. So I ignore the CO2 time stamp and just use the time stamps on the other maps, or outside sources. The higher population areas might also be absorbing CO2, with this effect being masked by the CO2 output from the more urban areas.

      It looked to me like there was a definite area pattern, with the same areas going low in CO2 concentration every day. It also looked like there might be a pattern under the areas masked by higher CO2 output, but it’s hard to be sure about that.

      Carbon monoxide remains high, so there definitely has been no shutdown of industry, and I’m sure that you never thought there really was.

      A second source is a great idea, The Geos-5 CO2 satellite data is from an old satellite. The data calibration has apparently not been adjusted in years, and Earth.nullschool had to make a uniform correction to bring the concentrations up to roughly match the ground stations. Earth.nullschool is honest about this not being rigorously scientific.There appears to be a roughly 12 hour bug in the time stamp But If the data really is showing daily minimums in concentration, this is really impressive coming from what appears to be the programming effort of one guy.

      A second source would be nice, so I’ll start looking at the OCO-2 data – certainly somebody should.

      Reply
  2. Kalypso

     /  September 7, 2016

    What are the odds that the average CO2 is 405 ppm next year?

    Reply
  3. Cate

     /  September 7, 2016

    So given BAU and feedbacks kicking in, is it at all conceivable we could touch 450 ppm by, say, 2030….?

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 7, 2016

      Cate get off the grid! Take your money and business out of the big banks. Join a credit union. Buy local. Our best chance is to starve the bastards. The one percenters have to go. We can’t storm the castle with pitch forks but we can starve them none the less.

      Reply
      • Marcusblanc

         /  September 8, 2016

        Takes a while to starve your average billionaire out, I think the pitchforks would be quicker!

        Reply
        • wili

           /  September 8, 2016

          Luckily, since it’s an essential tool for turning my copious compost, I have an actual pitchfork on hand! ‘-)

      • windbourne

         /  September 8, 2016

        It is easier than it sounds to put a stop to this.
        America holds the key to solving this quickly.

        We simply need to put a slowly increasing tax on the goods/service that WE consume/use, based on where the worst sub-part comes from.
        To do this right, we need to:
        1) quit using gov. numbers and instead, use quantified measurements. OCO-3 SHOULD have gone up already, but has not. However, it has the ability to measure CO2 in absolute numbers ( OCO-2 is giving us Relative numbers ).
        2) normalize based on a sane approach. Individuals are not the ones deciding where our electricity comes from. It is businesses and gov that decide that. So, doing a per capita is foolish. Instead, it needs to be emissions / $ GDP. In addition, to stop money manipulation, it needs to be $ GDP, NOT $ GDP (PPP).
        3) the above tax is applied 100% to all goods/service, HOWEVER, a manufacturer/service can register where parts come from and based on WORST part/service, they get a % of the tax applied. With this approach, the worst nations/states will businesses lose their exports which will calm down the business environment. OTOH, if a business/gov is low, they get rewarded by no tax.
        Note that in time, this tax disappears.

        So, for a good that comes 100% from say Sweden, it would get 0 tax.
        if a part comes from say Colorado, which is in middle of everything, the good might get 50% of the above tax.
        If a single part comes from say china, which is in the worst 5 nations, the good gets 100%.
        If and when China decides to REALLY clean up, then this will drop.

        Reply
      • Hey, the one thing most billionaires are afraid of is the storming of castles with pitch forks… if things keep going to the bad side, it will happen eventually.

        Reply
      • I was off the grid in the 80s with solar and tiny hydro power (abt 10 to 1 hydro production). Logging company clear cut above my place and flood of logging debris took out my hydro. Lucky it did kill me and the family. Moved to town in 90s and now gridtie with 3KW solar array. Thinking about adding a Tesla powerwall and having ability to run inverter as a backup, but our power is very steady here in town. Still, not that expensive to add an inverter and have ability to flip a switch and disconnect from grid power. We would have to make some changes because our gridtie consumption is about triple our production.

        Reply
    • So simply staying on current emissions (plateau) without feedbacks gets us to around 430-440 ppm by that time. Even mild global growth in overall fossil fuel burning + a ‘moderate’ carbon feedback could get us to 450. BAU path + feedback may hit as high as 460 to 470. Rapid cuts might contain us to 425-430 (sans feedback). So a viable best case to worst case range for the next 14 years is 425 to 470 ppm CO2. CO2e 525 to 600.

      Even over this comparatively short time horizon you can see the huge difference between action and non-action.

      Reply
  4. Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 7, 2016

      DT I’ve been watching this corner all spring and summer. It’s as if the whole of the Arctic is pivoting on it.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  September 8, 2016

        Quite a bit of discussion on this today over at ASIF. This is bad. Very bad. Because that section of ice that’s being prised away from the north coast of Greenland represents part of the last reserve of multi-year ice in the Arctic, the last bastion of multi-season ice that keeps the Arctic temperatures cool through all seasons. Once the old ice goes, it’s not coming back. Ice in the Arctic will then form in the winter and melt in the summer and the ancient and familiar stabilising effect of all this perennial ice will be gone.

        Reply
    • There’s no stable sea ice left.

      Reply
      • ‘Stable sea ice’ — a key term. Thx

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 8, 2016

          It’s a patchwork now, scraps of old ice stitched together with the very weak thread of first-year ice, which will melt out every summer….

  5. “… And you’re now living in, breathing, a heat-trapping atmosphere that’s entirely alien to your species. Sometimes races of creatures suffering such habitat changes are capable of surviving the environmental shifts that inevitably occur as a result. Sometimes they are not. But you’ve been placed in this situation now and it’s getting steadily worse.”
    – Thanks for writing this, Robert — it must have been a bit tough to do.

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 8, 2016

      Hi,
      For more than 100 years most humans have been inhaling an atmosphere that included gases and contaminants never experienced before in our evolution. We have been experimenting with our ecosphere for a long time. A recent story on NPR indicated that Americans will set a new record for mileage driven this year fueled by cheap gasoline. Got to drive out there to see those national parks before global warming changes them forever.

      dave

      Reply
    • Yeah. But if I’m too comfortable, I’m probably not saying it truthfully.

      Dave — you’re right, of course, but the pure alieness of the situation is hitting some very high notes lately. Which is why I decided to point that out in this blog.

      Reply

  6. ‘But 2016 is not your typical year in that part of the world. In fact, no year is “typical” anymore for a region that is warming at about twice as fast as the rest of the globe.

    Right now, broken ice and open waters are inching closer to the geographic North Pole. This is extremely rare, but likely not unprecedented, said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Climatic Data Center, in an interview.’

    Open water nears North Pole as 2016 melt season races to finish
    http://mashable.com/2016/09/07/north-pole-open-water-ice-melt/#pYZICD32F5qr

    Reply
    • Serreze statement is so weak because the truth is that our species has never been here before. Global warming is slow, but it is still a SHTF moment, it just happens so slow that we can attempt to ignore it or we can watch it and be appalled. I think we are looking at a climate where many beings will get to koag – kiss our a$$e$ goodbye in case there is confusion

      Reply
  7. Robert – nitpicking a little –

    Misleading double negative in graph caption …
    “trend seems to indicate that it’s unlikely monthly values will not fall below 400 parts per million”

    Reply
  8. kay

     /  September 7, 2016

    Thank you for these informative and cutting edge articles, Robert. I really can’t fathom those who try to block emission reductions. What are they fighting for? Don’t they realize they are killing their own kids and grandkids’ futures? These are educated men who understand the stakes…I would think. Are they all psychopaths or am I missing something? Scary times. All those fighting the good fight have to join together under one shared heading and start raising some real money and media hell. Half of America is walking around in a brain fog and has no idea what is going on. The propaganda out there has brainwashed them. We need a major news outlet to get this information out there to those who are asleep. This site is great, but we need to bring in more people; those on the fence who have no idea what is happening; those who barely read. Maybe an AM radio station too right next to the famous right wing denier station, along with shows on campus stations, ads in papers and all over the net (even on the right wing ones). A full tilt boogie. I comment all the time in dopey denier dens. Sick of their propaganda machine. Spam their sites with knowledge I say the way they spam us everyday with denialist propaganda. We need articles like this in major newspapers and on daily tv shows. I hate how the major newspapers have put all global warming news under a separate heading, like “science” or “environment”…when it should be front page news. Maybe a letter to the editors will help or has fossil fuel funded propaganda have their say there as well? I can’t understand how they all treat it like it’s not a big deal or completely censor any and all information and leave people in the dark. On NYT, Huff Post, the Guardian, etc….all global warming news has to be searched for in back pages like it isn’t worthy news. Why is that? Can someone enlighten me? Is it all down to advertising dollars controlling the news now?

    Reply
    • People looking back through history at failed civilizations often wonder — how could they have been so stupid? Well, here we are.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 9, 2016

        Capitalism empowers psychopaths, and this is how they act. They hate Life because they fear Death so very much. Life frightens them and makes them feel small and insignificant, so they have their revenge through killing, buffalo, passenger pigeons, ‘big game’, pheasants, other people etc. And they prefer the dead stuff of money and are RELENTLESS in turning living stuff, from fisheries to redwood forests, into what they call, with unconscious irony, ‘wealth’. They were ALWAYS going to destroy everything, including their own species, once the technology was available, and they will NEVER turn back of their own accord. They will have to be stopped, and the hour is very, very, late.

        Reply
    • If you read the output of Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations, there appears to be a deliberate plan contained in the articles of Scott Borgerson to melt the Arctic sea ice in order to get at the oil and gas of the Arctic.

      Part of that plan appears to consist of a fantasy of the rich retreating northward while a lot of the population dies off, then cruising around the Arctic Ocean, that would then resemble a new Mediterranean sea, in this fantasy. In reality, the Arctic Ocean may end up resembling open sewage- covered with a mat of purple and green bacteria, emitting clouds of toxic hydrogen sulfide, punctuated by geysers of methane shooting up from dissociating methane hydrates. With melting permafrost, massive firestorms, huge swarms of mosquitoes possibly carrying tropical diseases, and diseases like zombie anthrax coming out of the melting permafrost, the Arctic may end up being the most dangerous place on the planet to live.

      These articles talk about a rush for Arctic riches resembling a gold rush, and predict military competition for Arctic riches. These articles also speculate about turning oil tankers into water tankers and shipping Arctic water to the thirsty hordes of Asia.

      http://www.nativeamericanchurch.com/Bulletins/ArcticMeltdown.html

      The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is heavily supported by the Rockefeller financial dynasty. David Rockefeller is the former chairman of the CFR, and contributed more than 25 million dollars to its fundraising operation the Campaign for the Council, among numerous other gifts and support over decades. This dynasty also appears to control ExxonMobil – the direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly.

      This dynasty appears to have different propaganda stories for different target audiences. From ExxonMobil comes funding and organization for climate change denier think tanks- a deception program that has been running for decades, as documented by numerous Union of Concerned Scientist reports.

      From the Council on Foreign Relations comes a call to exploit Arctic riches, another propaganda operation, this time targeted at the rich. This appeal to greed also is a deceptive fantasy.

      The bottom line of these propaganda operations is a continuation of financial exploitation of fossil fuels, for as long as possible. ExxonMobil’s proven oil reserves have a value of roughly 800 billion dollars – and they are going to fight to produce that oil, no matter what, until stopped by an outside influence. And really ExxonMobil is so huge and powerful – with Gross Revenues bigger than the GNP of all but 30 countries on Earth – that stopping them will be very difficult.

      Reply
  9. earthfriendrick

     /  September 7, 2016

    Of course, this situation is going to get much worse before it gets any better… Industrial civilization will likely have to collapse in the near term or we run the risk of a runaway scenario…

    Reply
    • I don’t think it’s clear that the situation can get better. I think we can slow the disaster through radical changes, but I am not sure we can stabilize things now. And of course, we don’t seem the least bit interested in even modest change.

      Reply
  10. Griffin

     /  September 8, 2016

    Another great post!
    It should be mentioned that Dr. Keeling had predicted that we would not see anymore Daily values below 400ppm and went on record with that on October 21 of last year.
    Interestingly, we have already seen one daily measurement below the symbolic 400. It was significant enough to warrant a post from Robert Monroe about it.
    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2016/08/31/brief-reprieve-from-400-ppm-era-may-be-thanks-to-a-hurricane/

    Reply
  11. Cate

     /  September 8, 2016

    It’s been a hot summer in Toronto, and it’s only going to get hotter from now on.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/09/05/can-we-please-start-planning-for-the-extreme-heat-ahead-mallick.html

    Reply
  12. Cate

     /  September 8, 2016

    August summary from Copernicus. Globally, September 2015 to August 2016 are the warmest 12 months on record. Each month from August 2015 onwards has been the warmest for that particular month. Link posted by Lord M Vader at ASIF.

    https://climate.copernicus.eu/resources/data-analysis/average-surface-air-temperature-analysis/monthly-maps/august-2016

    Reply
  13. – Beaufort Sea ice

    Reply
  14. Greece

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 8, 2016

      The pix of flash flooding keep coming. Like out of a disaster movie. Only they’re real.

      Reply
  15. Reply
  16. Yep Cate, this is bad. Beyond bad. And, worse, the melt-off was predicted by a number of different climate scientists many years ago but they were going against ‘the consensus’ which is always cautious and very conservative. Nobody wants to put their head on a chopping block. What, and lose tenure or status? Us humans are very status conscious critters…and we REALLY hate to hear bad news. Bearers of such always get trashed.

    That was back when there was no possibility of the Arctic melting off before 2100AD. You were a nut to even speak it aloud. I remember reading about melt-off back in the 80s somewhere, before Hansen spoke to Congress. Maybe it was earlier even as I grew up around anti-war and environmentalists. Then disco fever came in, everyone bought a Volvo, and somehow the idiots elected Reagan. I started a fiberglassing/surf shop instead…

    RS: That Jet Stream change you threw up, the one that went north to south and jumped the equator in what…July? Ummm, what if that becomes frequent or even the ‘new normal?’ What are the ramifications, the potential effects? Is anybody currently aware of those kinds of studies going on and has links? I’m thinking of crops since I drive a winding 2 lane highways between farms all over the valleys here.

    All we can hope for is that this winter sees the Arctic heavily re-ice because next summer will most certainly be hotter. Every summer…

    We know these crazy loops are due to Arctic ice melt-off from that prof and her science team’s paper in 2004 at UC Santa Cruz. I talk to 85 year old Owen and his wife who sit and talk about all the strange weather, bugs & animal behavior, all the patterns that a life-long farmer has to know, and how much it has changed radically in a very short few years but going back decades. Very conservative lifelong Republican/Christian farm family and they aren’t doubting the science at this point. It’s in their faces too much.

    It’s starting to get a little spooky seeing as how many of those earlier ‘can’t ever happen’ group consensus-think that is either happening right in front of our faces, has already happened, or is looking like it’s about to happen. Lose the Arctic Ice Cap?

    By the way, Shawn Redmond, I have an Outback inverter off-grid solar system that ties into the house but is still connected to the grid. WA State does not require extra power generated into the grid to be paid for… but it’s the replacement batteries that’ll kill your budget. Keep hoping the Tesla brain trust will come out with something wonderful in battery storage for lower incomes…

    Article today:

    As Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Grows, Where Are Obama and Clinton?
    Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein may face charges for spray-painting construction equipment at a DAPL site on Tuesday

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/07/dakota-access-pipeline-fight-grows-where-are-obama-and-clinton

    …Bill McKibben wrote in a piece published Tuesday in the New Yorker, the silence from politicians is deafening.

    …(In the interim, an investigation revealed the more than two dozen major banks and financial institutions that are bankrolling the project—many of them Clinton and Obama donors.) ie: Wall Street, Goldman/Sacs

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 8, 2016

      Seal in the Selkirks, I used to live in a grid tied house that averaged a $200.00 a month electric bill. My Solar deep cell battery bank cost me $4000.00. The first bank last eight years despite the abuse I gave it the first year climbing the steep learning curve of managing an off grid home. The batteries are warrantied for seven years. $ 50.00 a month set aside during their life time of seven years pays for a new set. $200.00 a month for seven years helps to pay for the utility company CEO’s new yacht. And unless you can learn how to use ever diminishing amounts of electricity the monthly bill is guaranteed to rise over those seven years. My average daily kw hrs in the old place: 3 in the summer 12 in the winter. The lower summer average, because of no heating, made do the math and eventually go off grid. My point… the storage isn’t over priced. So long as the pay structure of the utilities keeps rewarding the one percenters I will stay off grid.

      Reply
      • 12volt dan

         /  September 8, 2016

        I agree. I have about the same tied up in batteries.and like you got 8 years out of them. My new set I’m hoping will get the same and from there hopefully a powerwall.

        fwiw the feeling of 100% green power is one of the best I’ve ever experienced not to mention the reliability over the grid are two unmentioned positives that rarely get mentioned in encouraging people to go this route and in the end it’s just plain cheaper.

        go ahead cut the cord

        Reply
        • JPL

           /  September 8, 2016

          Did either of you DIY your battery banks or did you have them installed? I’d be curious to learn more about how to do that. If you have any links or resources, please post them.

          Thanks
          John

        • We have a grid-tied system, very happy with it so far, see no reason to disconnect. Also electric car and air-source heat pump. Have just signed onto community solar project to get some extra solar to balance the extra electric use. Seems doable for many, question of priorities.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          Yes and the power is cleaner. The true sine wave is much better for your electronics and electric motors. I have an old table saw that kept tossing its own breaker when under strain. Since I’ve been using the inverter it almost never throws the breaker. A lot of big companies with sensitive electronics run their systems off inverters for this reason. As for the power wall the run times are not there yet for an off grid. They are looking to carry the load through the night and relying on the grid to tank back up if the green source is shy. I planned my system around running for at least three days without adequate in coming supply. Longer if I really mind my P’s and Q”s. I’ve had the opportunity to view a lithium system in action, the balancing act between the cells leaves one a little hesitant to lay out the coin. It runs in the area of commercial single cell 2 volt systems. 48 volts would run a little more than double and you only get three years more on warranty. JPL I DIYed my whole system it’s not very difficult. Eight 6 volt batteries starting with the first the negative goes to the inverter, the positive to the next ones negative, that positive to the next negative and so on. When you get to the last one the positive goes to the inverter. And bam 48 volts. Most battery companies have wiring diagrams showing various lay outs and recommended wire sizes.

        • Eight 6 volt batteries are enough to provide 3 days worth of storage? Or was that your initial storage system which then grew? And what is an approximate initial cost. My take is that it looks quite a bit less expensive than a powerwall.

        • One added point here… In my opinion, the next wave for home solar will be DIYs. There’s a huge opportunity for it now. It’s really just a matter of education at this point. Might be time for a blog on it.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          Yes not a problem. You have to remember I’m trying to live on less than 3kw hrs per day. Not always possible during the shorter days but over sizing the PV system has more or less over come this ( 21 panels 260 watts each). Three days in a row with out enough to over come this is rare. The batteries are Rolls Royce 600’s made by a local company here in Nova Scotia. They’re rated at 200 amp hours. Deep cycle batteries draw down differently than automotive batteries. We attempt to do all our domestics during the bright hours when the panels are producing more than is required by the bank. Life style; fewer and smaller monthly payments = less work hours off property! Hence a four month work year.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          Robert the power wall works on the lithium idea as I understand it. Balancing the cells is quite the act. There are diodes doing this work and they are constantly working even when there is no load on the bank. Just like lead acid the system works on the lowest common denominator. Keeping the lead acid batteries equalized is fairly simple and is done best with PV. Any reasonable quality charge controller will do this automatically.

        • Compare costs for a given amount of storage (lead acid vs lithium)?

        • JPL

           /  September 8, 2016

          Robert, agreed, DIY solar would be a cool blog post.

          My PV system is rooftop, installed professionally a couple of years ago and I really don’t have a good handle on how much I can mess with it. We net meter any production that we’re not consuming and our utility pays us back a little bit for *all* generation (net or otherwise) so until that extra compensation program is phased out (in 2019, I believe) I’m going to leave things as is. But… once that incentive program ends I’ll be very interested in incorporating a battery bank, if possible. Our inverter is DC so the array is useless in a power outage, ironically, without some A/C input to keep the inverter alive. Glad we did it though. Having no power bill in the summer months has been a nice perk!

        • Thanks for going solar, JPL. Here’s to hoping more people follow in your footsteps. I suspect there’s going to be a high demand for off-grid, given the way some utilities are acting.

          As for DIY, it’s tough to get good, comprehensive info overall for a full system including storage. The DIY non storage plug in and play kits are now starting to become more mainstream and ever more affordable, though. DIY around 2 dollars per watt installed with inverter in the US looks pretty decent to me.

          Will see what I can do RE both a comprehensive and information post on the subject.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          I can’t believe you guys are making this sound so complicated. If you can wire a potato clock you can put in a system. I had an professional electrician tie the inverter to the house panel so as to satisfy the inspector. Keeping my insurance adjuster happy. The DC side is just that DC. This is grade five science red/black +/-, the panels that I purchased come with a type of wiring harness that only works one way so mixing up +/- is not possible without undue force. A measuring tape, 1/2 in. and 9/16 wrenches, a level, a number two Robertson and some torquex drivers. You’re now a PV installer. Wire size is the only concern and most reputable dealers will help with that, it’s in their economic interest after all. http://aeesolar.com My entire system came from this catalogue. As a matter of fact the three whole home stand alone systems that I’ve installed came through this supplier. Loads of info here.

        • Thanks, Shawn. It’s not really an issue of how complex it is. It’s just that it’s something that most people have never done before so it’s about dealing with the unfamiliarity of it all. People are very much used to just getting power. They’ve become domesticated to it, as it were. So even if it’s simple, taking that first step is a big change for people.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 9, 2016

          This link will take you to AEE’s page for ordering their catalogue. It is full of info for designing your system. Loads of work sheets for sorting out your needs as well as wire sizing for DC runs. DC requires bigger gauge for longer runs to account for voltage loss. Info about this and numerous other questions can be found in this publication. http://aeesolar.com/aee-solar-design-guide-catalog/

      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 8, 2016

        As stated above RS lithium is on par with commercial lead acid which is roughly double the 600’s for the same capacity all though the lithium has a longer life expectancy. Due to the balancing act I’ve not bothered to do the math. Waiting for the bugs to be worked out. Tells and the like should take care or that. Hopefully by the time I’m ready for a new bank!

        Reply
        • Thanks Shawn. Much appreciated. Will look into it further.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          Damn spell check tells should read Telsa.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 8, 2016

          Ha some days are diamonds most are coal ” Tesla”

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 9, 2016

          Yes I can see that when it’s pointed out to me. Forgive my cynicism RS and all, I just have a hard time believing that people willfully let unseen forces run their lives. Somewhere I read us referred to as Sheeple, domestication may well be the better term. On the macro scale we’ve become livestock. If the shoe fits….

        • Well, concentrating economic power into fewer and fewer hands, as most fossil fuel structures have, tends to foster dependency. They’ve made bank on regulatory capture and captive consumers for generations. Time to free the captive.

  17. Greg

     /  September 8, 2016

    An intense heat wave has occurred in recent days in the Iberian Peninsula with a site in Spain, Sanlucar La Mayor, measuring 46.4°C (115.5°F) on Monday, September 5th. This (if verified) would be the hottest temperature ever observed anywhere in Europe during the month of September. THE SANLUCAR LA MAYOR TEMPERATURE IS APPEARING DUBIOUS. HOWEVER, THE 45.7°C (114.3°F) REPORTED FROM MONTORO, SPAIN MAY BE RELIABLE AND THUS A NEW SEPTEMBER HEAT RECORD FOR EUROPE REGARDLESS. Portugal broke its September monthly heat record with 45.0°C (113.0°F) at Lousa Airport on September 6th. A few days earlier amazing heat also prevailed in the Middle East with Mitribah, Kuwait reaching 51.2°C (124.2°F) on September 4th. This would be the 2nd hottest temperature ever reliably measured on Earth during the month of September.
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/hottest-temperature-ever-measured-in-september-for-europe

    Reply
  18. Suzanne

     /  September 8, 2016

    Front page at the NY Times this morning:
    “Obama on Climate Change: The Trends are ‘Terrifying’ “….
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/08/us/politics/obama-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Quote:
    Bombs may not be falling. The sound of gunfire does not concentrate the mind. What Mr. Obama has seen instead are the charts and graphs of a warming planet. “And they’re terrifying,” he said in a recent interview in Honolulu.

    “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

    Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 8, 2016

      Very nice, thank you. A great interview and overview of the Obama administration and its climate policy evolution.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 8, 2016

        “My hope,” he said, “is that maybe as ex-president I can have a little more influence on some of my Republican friends, who I think up until now have been resistant to the science.”

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  September 8, 2016

          Greg…that comment by the President got my attention too.
          I was just happy to see this article…and video interview with the President about CC on the front page this morning.
          I am still just “baffled” that CC isn’t front and center during this election.

        • Greg

           /  September 8, 2016

          Suzanne. Agreed. Good that Podesta is head of Hillary’s campaign. That helps seal legacy and continues push. I hope Obama pushes even harder after leaving office.
          https://t.co/nHjIAFKTav

        • Agreed, love it. I think may be historic error that he picked health care instead of climate in 2009-10, but may also be that he figured no one would pay attention while health care costs were skyrocketing. On one hand, hard to forgive him for waiting until after 2014 midterms to really get vocal and active on the issue. On other hand, as imperfect as he has been, far and away the best President we have ever had on climate change. MHO.

    • Legacy puffery. While I agree, the republicans were a horrible impediment, Obama’s own positions were a mixed bag. Even now he is still pushing the TPP with ISDS provisions – toxic to environmental policy. Same type of provision under NAFTA is currently being used by XL Pipeline company to sue US to the tune of $15B just for saying “no” to their pipeline.

      Reply
      • I think we’ll come to a time of regret pretty soon here where people will ask themselves if they could have done more to help prevent harmful climate change and find that the answer was resoundingly YES.

        Reply
    • He’s done a lot on this issue that’s been helpful and some that hasn’t. On balance, however, I’d say he’s an amazing leader for dealing with climate change. I sincerely hope that he puts his words into practice and gets to work following him leaving office. Unlike other politicians, Obama is the type of person who inspires confidence. When he says he’s going to set out to do something, I believe him.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  September 8, 2016

        I think if he does make CC his main area of focus after leaving public office…it will do a lot for the cause..And, I too, believe him.

        Reply
  19. Cate

     /  September 8, 2016

    Bill McKibben in the Guardian yesterday reflection the IUCN report and runaway—-yes, runaway—ocean heating. Excellent piece. We need more communicators like Bill and our own Robert, who are able to translate the science into see-it-feel-it language that anyone who cares to read it can understand.

    “When we think about global warming, we usually fixate on the air temperature. Which is spiking sharply – July was the hottest month ever measured on our planet. But as the new study points out, 90% of the extra heat that our greenhouse gases trap is actually absorbed by the oceans. That means that the upper few meters of the sea have been steadily warming more than a tenth of a degree celsius per decade, a figure that’s accelerating. When you think of the volume of water that represents, and then try to imagine the energy necessary to raise its temperature, you get an idea of the blowtorch that our civilization has become.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/07/oceans-heating-big-problem-blue-planet-iucn-report

    Reply
  20. 5dollarsagallon

     /  September 8, 2016

    According to climate change models, the effects of 150 plus years of anthropogenic-based global warming unfortunately continue, even if the burning of all fossil fuels ended tomorrow, for another 70 years before plateauing and declining. Therefore, this is it, it’s over, for our lifetime, but the actions taken today, determine the planet’s conditions for our children and grandchildren. There are no gains to be realized in terms of global warming’s horrific effects on what we will experience during the lifetime of adults alive today. However, as the IPCC and others have attempted to draw more attention to, the goal of reducing air pollutants rather than just climate pollutants (CO2, MH4), means that the global number one killer, air pollution, responsible for 7 million early deaths a year (1 in 8 of the annual global total) can be addressed, with the significant co-benefit of fighting global warming. The underlying major sources of both, are the same: burning fossil fuels for energy and transport. Global warming cannot be stopped in any meaningful way for our lifetime, but must be handled now to ensure a habitable world remains. There’s enormous, synergistic win-win in terms of the co-benefits to the co-control to address pollution and climate change. COP21 focused on the latter. No stopping what’s been started, but the quality of one’s remaining years stands to be greatly improved by ending roadside pollution and embracing renewable energy.

    Reply
    • The first part of your statement is entirely untrue. The difference, say, between 2 C warming this Century (possibly achievable) through a rapid response and 4-7 C warming this Century is pheonomenal. One path provides a shot at civilization survival. The other is so outrageous that it becomes difficult to see how advanced societies of any kind make it through.

      The effect of emissions reductions is to reduce the level of damage. Just because damage of some form or another is coming isn’t a reason to say that emissions reductions have failed. It just means that there’s no way to avoid a certain level of damage. But the path of BAU burning is an absolute nightmare scenario that people here living today are seeing the start of now. One that absolutely would have far worse comparative effects on those living today than a period which involved rapid emissions cuts.

      What we’re fighting for is a fighting chance. There is no more perfect world in which climate harms do not happen. We need to realize this. And we need to be very clear that action now is absolutely necessary.

      I could say in other ways how vehemently I disagree with your point of view here. But what I will say is that it’s pretty much backward.

      Reply
  21. Can someone please tell me if it will cool off in Egypt? The temp has gone down to 88F at times lately, but its still feeling very hot and humid when usually it was dry. This year seems to be worst than last year. I can see the humidity over the sea😦

    Reply
    • No good news, I think. Warmer and warmer (and warmer) nights are a hallmark of the greenhouse gas blanket. Unlike the sun, it warms 24/7, by preventing the Earth from radiational cooling at night.

      Reply
    • Eventually uninhabitable outside conditions if we keep up with fossil fuel burning. The more we cut fossil fuel burning, the better off you guys will be. I hope for everyone’s sake — mine and yours included — that we wise up fast as a global society. We really are each others keepers now. And it’s time to take that responsibility seriously.

      Reply
  22. Suzanne

     /  September 8, 2016

    At NY Magazine this morning on Climate Change:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/new-york-future-flooding-climate-change.html

    For the past 15 years or so, Jacob has been primarily preoccupied with a more existential danger: the rising sea. The latest scientific findings suggest that a child born today in this island metropolis may live to see the waters around it swell by six feet, as the previously hypothetical consequences of global warming take on an escalating — and unstoppable — force. “I have made it my mission,” Jacob says, “to think long term.” The life span of a city is measured in centuries, and New York, which is approaching its fifth, probably doesn’t have another five to go, at least in any presently recognizable form. Instead, Jacob has said, the city will become a “gradual Atlantis.”

    The deluge will begin slowly, and irregularly, and so it will confound human perceptions of change. Areas that never had flash floods will start to experience them, in part because global warming will also increase precipitation. High tides will spill over old bulkheads when there is a full moon. People will start carrying galoshes to work. All the commercial skyscrapers, housing, cultural institutions that currently sit near the waterline will be forced to contend with routine inundation. And cataclysmic floods will become more common, because, to put it simply, if the baseline water level is higher, every storm surge will be that much stronger.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 8, 2016

      “confound human perceptions of change…” Yes, the change in climate for many people in temperate areas in particular is so gradual in terms of daily human life—we obsess even down to hundredths of seconds now—that it takes a huge effort of imagination to see the big picture and to understand the enormity of the threat unfolding over decades or centuries to come.

      People will just shrug and “carry galoshes to work” , and our grandchildren will consider this dangerous climate as normal, since they never will have experienced it otherwise.

      At that point it will become even more difficult to address, I think.

      So I suspect we are the “last generation” who can do anything about climate change not only in terms of physical/energy solutions, but also in psychological terms.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  September 8, 2016

        Cate….I think the best explanation for why there is so much denial out there among our fellow citizens…is the “frog in the boiling water” scenario. That people feeling that there is no controlling CC…so they just shrug and go along with their lives.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 8, 2016

          Suzanne, it makes you wonder which deniers are the hardest to convince—to “convert”, as it were: the ones who don’t “believe in” climate change, or the ones who accept climate change as fact but don’t believe we can do anything about it. It’s a matter of fighting on both those fronts now.

        • This made me smile. Been fighting that battle for four years now. A lot like Sisyphus, you carry the boulder up that big hill most days just to see it roll back down. But if you keep carrying, it doesn’t fall back quite as far as before.

  23. wharf rat

     /  September 8, 2016

    Should this be happening? Rat doesn’t think so, but, like Jon Snow, he knows nothing.

    From Nick Stokes…
    Big rise (0.21°C) in surface temperature in August
    Surprising, but TempLS mesh is so far an outlier here. The TempLS mesh global anomaly rose from 0.65°C in July to 0.86°C in August (base 1961-90). This is a change after a period of slow decline, and is almost back to the level of last January.

    https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2016/09/big-rise-021c-in-surface-temperature-in.html

    Reply
    • wharf rat

       /  September 8, 2016

      Copernicus… ESA

      Average surface air temperatures for August 2016

      August 2016 extended the spell of exceptional global warmth that has now lasted more than a year. Although the global temperature anomaly peaked in February and declined steadily from March to June, it rose again in July and August. The global average temperature anomaly for August was:

      0.62 OC higher than the August average for 1981-2010;0.17 OC higher than the previous highest August value, which occurred in 2015.
      With the exception of June 2016, each month from October 2015 to August 2016 was more extreme than January 2007, which was previously the month with the warmest anomaly (0.54OC). Each month from August 2015 onwards has been the warmest on record for that particular month.

      http://climate.copernicus.eu/resources/data-analysis/average-surface-air-temperature-analysis/monthly-maps/august-2016

      Reply
    • La Nina peetered out. We’re getting more heat backwash as a result. Oh, and don’t forget the poles. They’re going off like gangbusters.

      Reply
  24. Cate

     /  September 8, 2016

    The Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh is touring his new book, “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.”

    We are deranged to continue doing what we are doing to our planet. His outlook is rather pessimistic, so don’t read him for solutions. He does take a strong stand for climate justice, which must be integral to any solutions we come up with, in my view.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/08/amitav-ghosh-climate-change-is-like-death-no-one-wants-to-talk-about-it

    “The book traces the paths to development taken by India, China and the west. Ghosh is a supporter of climate justice – which looks at the historical responsibilities of nations for climate change, and is quite clear that India and China deserve reparations for choosing more sustainable paths – India by choosing a spartan Gandhian model of development for years, China by choosing the one child policy, even at the cost of inflicting great suffering. Meanwhile, the west pursued a consumerist, carbon-intensive economy, unimpeded. He is also scathing about the Paris climate deal, which he calls “tepid” in its approach to climate justice, and leaves poor nations dependent on the charity of richer nations.”

    Reply
  25. Greg

     /  September 8, 2016

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe
    Today’s view of the North Pole (#MODIS, Terra) is also really showing the sea ice rubble…

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  September 8, 2016

    No La Nina? Since the demise of the big 2015-16 El Niño in April, the tropical Pacific has been loitering around in neutral… and now forecasters think it’s likely to stay that way through the winter. For now, we’re taking down the La Niña Watch, since it no longer looks favorable for La Niña conditions to develop within the next six months.
    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/september-2016-enso-update-cooling-our-heels

    Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  September 8, 2016

      I wonder what that means for global temperatures for 2017, could we continue with another record breaking warm year?

      Reply
  27. Greg

     /  September 8, 2016

    Wind, a drought resistant cash crop. Even political conservatives are buying into this:
    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/09/07/unstoppable-the-more-people-see-wind-energy-the-more-they-like-it/

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 8, 2016

      Some would consider the turbines a blot on this wild and desolate landscape, but not Angus MacMillan. He sees them as objects of beauty. ‘These three ladies will be our salvation. They are the key to our economic renaissance after centuries of decline,’ he declares.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/29/the-impoverished-scottish-community-who-bought-their-island-back/

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 8, 2016

        Wendy, Fanny and Blowy were expected to earn about £600,000 last year, but gales of 80 or 90 mph are not uncommon on South Uist.They actually operated about 98 per cent of the time, and earned £1.2 million – a bonanza for a tiny island. Twenty per cent of the profits are pumped straight back into the community, but the rest helps finance further investment – notably the regeneration of the island’s harbour at Lochboisdale which had been virtually moribund since herring fishing collapsed in the 1960s.

        Reply
        • Great to see, thanks, Greg (I spent 30+ years with the American Wind Energy Association). May be the quintessential difference between those who view the “environment” as “my personal surroundings, that need to be clean and look attractive to me personally” and those who see it as something just a bit larger.

  28. – This is emblematic of the fossil fuel/petrochemical consumerism which confronts us.
    – Keep in mind that some (American) lifestyle/obesity driven XL – XXL – PLUS, etc. clothing sizes made of quality material can be cut into many smaller sizes suitable for the many less obese peoples.
    – I shop and donate to thrift/used clothing stores where the XL – XXL – PLUS racks are more numerous than the SM-MED-L racks. The majority are due to American lifestyle/junk food.
    This also represents the mindset of many of our climate change denying/avoiding citizens.

    ‘Fast Fashion: Cheap Clothes = Huge Environmental Cost’

    “They’ve been bleached, dyed, printed on, scoured in chemical baths,” Sustainable Apparel Coalition CEO Jason Kibbey said.

    The chemicals are likely to seep into groundwater if placed in a landfill or permeate the air if sent to an incinerator. This is only one of seven reasons to hate fast fashion, EcoWatch reported in November 2015.

    Other materials like acrylic, nylon and polyester have a petroleum base, which means it could take many hundreds of years to fully decompose.

    The problem is further intensified by Americans’ growing consumption of clothing, which has doubled to 14 million tons per year in less than two decades.

    How damaging is this consumption to the environment? The EPA believes that if Americans were to recycle all of their unwanted clothing, it would have the same environmental impact as removing 7.5 million cars from American highways.
    http://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-1994121280.html

    Reply
    • ‘ Materials like acrylic, nylon and polyester have a petroleum base’ while they may not decompose for s very long time many do go through some sort of ‘out-gassing’ of GHG molecules.

      Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  September 8, 2016

    This River in Russia Just Turned Red
    The mystery cause has not been confirmed, but residents have a few suspicions.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/red-river-russia-possible-factory-leak/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
  30. Reply
  31. climatehawk1

     /  September 8, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  32. Kalypso

     /  September 8, 2016

    A carbon tax in the USA to follow the Paris climate accords under a Clinton administration could help us avoid the worse impacts of climate change. It’s just what the doctor ordered. I hope Clinton implements such a plan when she becomes president. More people in the USA are warming up to the idea of a carbon tax. According to James Hansen it would be the best tool to combat rising fossil fuel emissions.

    http://www.investopedia.com/news/could-carbon-tax-work-bp-cvx/#ixzz4JWVTxJka

    Reply
  33. 5dollarsagallon

     /  September 9, 2016

    I’m not a climate change denier; we must arrest climate change now, going to renewables and EVs asap. But in that statement, neither is it assumed that the total cessation of fossil fuel burning tomorrow, would result in global warming plateauing over the next 50 years. The lag time is too large, extending beyond our lifetimes. That’s not an argument for inaction by any means.

    In all of your research and self-informing, Robert, what you have found concerning the lag time between a cessation of the human causes of warming to date, and when the plateau occurs? Several decades, a century, one generation? I hope you do not make me out to be part of the problem when I’ve been an EV and clean tech advocate for 11 years, helped see the influential documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” through to completion, and gone to considerable lengths to raise awareness in those areas.

    Reply
    • https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/committed-warming/

      I think Tamino has looked at the question and indicates warming comes to halt quickly with 80% reduction of GHG emissions. That is surprising to me and encouraging, but we show no willingness to cut emissions by anything like that number, so it’s moot. Plus, we have probably forced changes in the “natural” carbon cycle with our species push of GHG into the atmosphere, so the actual changes in ghg output are probably significantly more than an 80% cut in our species emissions. I think we have entered the era when our only chance to address the problem relies on carbon sequestration technology, (probably from direct air capture approach) and I am not sure we have any capability to launch that kind of global initiative to slow the sixth great extinction. I fear that we are more likely to engage in resource wars and demonize climate refugees instead of recognizing what we are doing (crimes against nature) and changing our ways. Nature bats last and I suspect nature has a big bat.

      Reply
      • So I’ve got to say that I have a slight disagreement here with Tamino. An 80 percent emissions cut would radically slow the present rate of warming. It would not, however, reduce the current approx 404 atmospheric CO2 level. Though it would knock about 40 to 60 ppm out of the current CO2e figure.

        As a result, we would still be on a long-term path to 2-3 C warming and higher. Higher, because even 1/5th current emissions would add about 0.5 ppm CO2 every year and is still about twice the annual emission that led up to the PETM event.

        An 80 percent emissions cut would, however, set up the needed steps for a necessary shift to net carbon negative while greatly reducing the level of harm and the rate of warming projected for this Century.

        Reply
        • I agree with you RS. It seems likely to me that global temp has a lag, but I would love to see us cut by 80% or more and see what happens. We really have to get to a carbon negative state to drive the numbers back down. I worry that the amount of heat we have pushed into the oceans has committed us to direct observation of canfield ocean development and all bets are off for most species on a planet that supports a canfield ocean.

        • We’re just starting to see ocean stratification. Full Canfield development would take probably around 8-12 C warming. That’s the BAU path longer term.

          So to be very clear what we’re seeing now is ocean stratification, initial warming, and nutrient loading impacts. It’s possible that human farming and effluent could lower the temperature threshold for a Canfield Ocean by a couple of degrees C. But the overall heat and feedback levels needed aren’t close right now.

          The issue is we’re on a pathway toward a more and more stratified ocean which could eventually lead to a Canfield like state if we don’t get off the BAU path. In any case, a stratified ocean is bad enough.

      • 5dollarsagallon

         /  September 9, 2016

        What level of consensus is there on a 40 year lag?
        “With 40 years between cause and effect, it means that average temperatures of the last decade are a result of what we were thoughtlessly putting into the air in the 1960’s.”
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

        Reply
        • best thing would be to run an experiment, cut the global emissions to zero and then wait a decade or two and see what happens with the temps.

        • It’s more complex than that. With each emission you immediately add the transient climate forcing (without feedbacks over the short or long term). So all emissions are immediately additive even though the heating effects occur fully over a much longer term (and certainly longer than 40 years). The statement is a simplification to illustrate that there’s a bit of hell to pay from what we’ve already emitted and we won’t see all of it until many decades have passed.

        • 5dollarsagallon

           /  September 9, 2016

          We’re already running the most absurd experiment possible. Sure.

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